Bed sores are a serious medical condition that often affects people in nursing homes. Many times, when a resident develops bed sores, the nursing home is considered to be responsible and neglectful in allowing the condition to develop. However, in looking at this condition and what causes it, along with considering the opinions of medical professionals, it is not completely clear that a bed sore automatically equals neglect.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains bed sores are wounds in the skin caused by pressure. The pressure causes the breakdown and death of skin tissue. Older people, especially those with limited mobility or who are confined to beds or wheelchairs, are most susceptible to developing them. Certain health conditions that restrict blood flow, such as diabetes, can also make a person more likely to develop sores.
Bed sores can develop from pressure over a long period of time or from a lot of pressure in a short period of time. So, a patient does not necessarily have to lie in bed for days without care to develop one. They can develop quickly in certain situations.
The NLM conducted a survey of medical professionals to determine if bed sores are a sign of nursing home neglect and whether they can be prevented in all cases. The responses showed that most think bed sores are not always preventable. Furthermore, most thought nursing homes are not set up with the proper resources to prevent them and should not be sued for neglect on the basis that a patient developed a bed sore. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.